With carpal tunnel syndrome in Louisiana, symptoms typically start slowly with symptoms that often include intermittent numbness or tingling in the thumb, index and middle fingers. It can also cause discomfort in your wrist and the palm of your hand.
Common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include tingling, numbness or weakness. You may feel tingling and numbness in your fingers or hand. The thumb and index, middle or ring fingers are most often affected, but not the little finger.
At times there is a sensation that travels from your wrist up your arm that feels like an electric shock in these fingers. This often occurs while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper. Many people “shake out” their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. The numb feeling may become constant over time.
You may also experience weakness in your hand and a propensity to drop objects. This may be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb’s pinching muscles, which are also controlled by the median nerve.
See your doctor if you are experiencing persistent symptoms suggestive of carpal tunnel syndrome that interfere with your normal activities and sleep patterns. Permanent nerve and muscle damage can occur without treatment.
Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Louisiana
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs from your forearm through a passageway in your wrist (carpal tunnel) to your hand. It provides feeling to the palm side of your thumb and fingers, except the little finger. It also provides nerve signals to move the muscles around the base of your thumb.
Anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space may result in carpal tunnel syndrome. A wrist fracture can taper the carpal tunnel and irritate the nerve, as can the swelling and inflammation resulting from rheumatoid arthritis.
In many cases, there is no single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome in Louisiana. It may be that a combination of risk factors contributes to the development of the condition.
Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Louisiana
A number of risk factors have been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Although they may not directly result in carpal tunnel syndrome, they may increase your chances of developing or aggravating median nerve damage.
Anatomic issues: A wrist fracture or dislocation, or arthritis that alters the small bones in the wrist, can modify the space within the carpal tunnel and put pressure on the median nerve. People with smaller carpal tunnels may be more likely to experience carpal tunnel syndrome.
Gender: Carpal tunnel syndrome in Louisiana is generally more common in women. This may be because the carpal tunnel area is comparatively smaller in women than in men. Women who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome may also have smaller carpal tunnels than women who don’t have the condition.
Conditions that affect nerves: Some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, elevate your risk of nerve damage, including damage to your median nerve.
Inflammatory conditions: Illnesses that are categorized by inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can have an effect on the lining around the tendons in your wrist and put pressure on your median nerve.
Obesity: Being obese is a significant risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome in Louisiana.
Changes in the balance of body fluids: Fluid retention may increase the pressure within your carpal tunnel and irritate the median nerve. This is more common during pregnancy and menopause. Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with pregnancy typically resolves on its own after pregnancy.
Other medical issues: Certain conditions – such as menopause, obesity, thyroid disorders and kidney failure – may elevate your chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Workplace reasons: It’s possible that working with vibrating tools or on an assembly line that requires prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve or worsen existing nerve damage. However, the scientific evidence is conflicting and these factors haven’t been established as direct causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Several studies have evaluated whether there is an association between extensive computer use and carpal tunnel syndrome. However, there has not been enough consistent evidence to support this as a risk factor for carpal tunnel syndrome, although it may cause a different type of hand pain.
If you think that you might be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in Louisiana, call our office today to schedule a consultation so we can determine the cause and treatment options.